Sometimes I think the word “salad” connotes boring, samey food void of much flavour. But really a salad is just a medley of, well, whatever you feel like throwing into a bowl! During the winter time I love nothing more than a heaping warm salad that combines a green, a grain, nuts, fruit and starchy root vegetables. This allows me to cover all bases, keeps me full for the whole afternoon or evening and gets in all the essential nutrients I need to stay healthy and keep the myriad of germs at bay (you will not get me evil flu!)
I’m not a believer of strict rules in cooking. I think flexibility allows you to pick up what’s seasonal, fresh and organic wherever possible, tailoring recipes to your mood and the part of the world that you call home. But in case you’re stuck in a rut and looking for something to cure you of the winter blues, here’s a good place to start. It’s simple, easy, delicious and unbelievably nutritious. Feed that body, feed that mind and make 2019 your best year yet as your feast on a rainbow of delights.
Vegan Winter Warming Rainbow Salad
- 1/2 Butternut squash
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 2 Cups Vegetable stock
- Few handfulls Baby leaf spinach
- 1/3 Cup Cashews
- 1/2 Cup Blueberries
- 1/3 Cup Pomegranate seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Tahini
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- Few tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 390F/200C.
2. Cut half a butternut squash (about 1-1.5 cups) into inch-sized cubes and spread onto a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, paprika, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and salt. Toss and roast for about 35-40 minutes until golden and cooked through.
3. While the squash is roasting, place quinoa in a medium pot with vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook through (20 minutes). Once all stock is absorbed, taste to check tenderness and add a splash more water if further cooking required. Then, fluff with a fork and leave to one side.
4. Into a large salad bowl toss spinach, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and cashews. Add cooked quinoa and squash and toss to combine.
5. In a small bowl, combine tahini with lemon juice and water until desired consistency achieved. Drizzle over the salad and enjoy immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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Photo: Kat Kennedy